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Can Speaker Johnson Unite Republicans?: WSJK (Champaign, IL) Fox News Interview

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

President John Pudner returned to familiar territory recently, connecting by phone in Milwaukee to nearby Champaign, Illinois to speak with hosts Stevie and Johnny Jay about recent developments both at home and abroad, including the concerns of reporting from the New York Times regarding the Israel-Hamas War, the recent election of Speaker Mike Johnson following months of division and turmoil within the House Republican caucus, and if Republican candidates, utilizing recent developments on the southern border, as well as pervasive issues such as crime and inflation, can unite voters from across the political spectrum during next fall's elections.

Both discuss this not only with the ever-looming presidential race, but also with congressional elections across the country with razor-thin margins in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. With key swing states currently polling right down the middle, both discuss ways the newly elected Speaker could utilize hot-button issues to unite voters for Republicans candidates across the ticket or further split our ever-divided Republic.

To learn more about TBOR Action's efforts on topics including election integrity, please click here.

The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:


Speaker, Mike Johnson, Republicans, Hamas, Democrats, issue, crime, misinformation.


TBOR Action President John Pudner, Johnny Jay, and Stevie Jay.

Stevie Jay 00:00

John Pudner, how are you?

John Pudner 00:03

Good! I'm waiting for Marquette to come down to Champaign in a couple of weeks.

Stevie Jay 00:07

How good is your team at Marquette, John Pudner, how good are they man? They're ranked fifth in the country. Man, they're good.

John Pudner 00:15

One point underdog, though.

Johnny Jay 00:19

5th is four rankings lower than the team we just beat, so come on down!

Stevie Jay 00:27

It's John Pudner on the phone line. I am Stevie Jay Johnson, John is the President of Take Back Our Republic Action. He was also a Bush 200 aide and the only person in US history to run a campaign defeating a majority leader in the primary. Who was that again, John?

John Pudner 00:42

That was Eric Cantor.

Johnny Jay 00:44

I do remember that!

Stevie Jay 00:45

Now, why did you primary him?

John Pudner 00:48

Well, we thought he got a little out of touch with the district. He was doing the national thing to raise money and we thought he wasn't paying attention back to my original hometown of Richmond, Virginia, so we took him on.

Stevie Jay 00:59

And so, John spent time in the swamp, figured he needed a good hot bath, and a Milwaukee resident, and look where he is now. Okay, so apparently, President Biden was upset that the New York Times was screaming the headlines, "Israel Bombs A Hospital", which was wrong. Man, The New York Times, three headlines that were wrong. Why am I surprised?

John Pudner 01:21

And the source was a Hamas source, that's who put out the story. I mean, talk about checking your sources, unbelievable.

Stevie Jay 01:28

They lie all the time.

Johnny Jay 01:30

And the problem is, when they put that kind of misinformation out, and you call them on it, you're the one that has the misinformation, and it was terrible, because it was actually an accident, but it also wasn't quite as bad as initially reported.

Stevie Jay 01:46

It was a Hamas rocket that went bad.

Johnny Jay 01:48

It wasn't 500 people that died, It was much less than that, which is good, but what a mess over there. Anyway, wow.

Stevie Jay 01:56

Well, John, I don't know how this thing ever ends quickly or if it's just were killing you, I'm going to kill you, then they're going to kill us, and you say, I'm gonna wipe out Hamas? I don't know if that's even possible. Isn't ISIS regenerated now? I mean, where does all this end? I just...unbelievable.

John Pudner 02:16

It is scary. On the one hand, you've got the 1,000 years of feuding, but then the weakness after the Afghan rollout, the opportunity China saw to start talking to the Saudis, and Iran again. These things all matter. The disastrous pullout of the US military in the direction of all this is not good.

Stevie Jay 02:43

Mike Johnson, the new Speaker, any idea what he'll do? He sure seems like a good person for this. I don't know much about him, but I like how measured he seems, and how smart he appears.

John Pudner 02:54

I think so. The nice thing is he's certainly a solid conservative, so conservatives can feel like he is someone who isn't backing out of their principles, but he does have a demeanor that you might like after a raucous few weeks, just even-handed, so they can't really hit him on wild displays of something that wouldn't look like a Speaker. It looks like a solid choice, but all of us don't know that much about him, haven't followed him all that closely until this.

Johnny Jay 03:28

I'm from Louisiana, and I don't actually know Mike, but I know a lot of people who do, and they have nothing but good things to say, so we'll see. It just seems precarious to me, because somebody could call for a vote, and six people wake up in a bad mood, we're back to square one.

Stevie Jay 03:45

It's probably too soon to get Kevin McCarthy a t-shirt that said, "She Had My Back." Nancy Pelosi reportedly said to give it to them and the Democrats have your back, but that didn't work out.

Johnny Jay 04:01

Well, if Nancy has your back, It's time to get your affairs in order.

Stevie Jay 04:10

We have so many issues. I mean, they're making this alert in San Diego, saying we should close the border to Tijuana, because we're hearing all kinds of rumblings about Hamas and Hezbollah coming into the country. We don't have any idea who's in our country anymore, do we, John?,

John Pudner 04:28

Once you lose the border, and you just look at what the left has been arguing for, they have to deal with it now. The anti-Israeli sentiment that is built up on part of the left, and obviously, the Jewish vote had typically been very democratic in this country, and so you've got that split, but then not wanting any rules on the border, and just realizing Biden's down to 23% approval on the border. That was before all of this, as if the deadly drugs weren't enough, but you have to have a border to have a country.

Johnny Jay 05:05

I wonder if enough people make the connection between the crisis at the border, and the drugs, and the crime, and Democrats? I somehow think there's just a missing link somewhere there. The policy of the Democrats is to open the border. We need to stop voting for them if that's what they're gonna do. To me, that's almost a big enough issue, the one issue there to maybe vote for the Libertarian if you don't like the Republican?

John Pudner 05:38

As you know, the issue has spread up here. I'm sure, years ago, it was more of a border-state issue, but everyone in the country understands that impacts everything, labor force, drugs, so it's an issue there in Illinois, here in Wisconsin, wherever you are, it's an issue now.

Stevie Jay 05:53

Crime, inflation, what on this spacecraft works, John? If you're talking about the Biden Administration, what in the world is he running on? I have no idea. I mean, you're the campaign guru, if they're coming to John Pudner said, you're running the Biden campaign, what would you do John? Stay in Milwaukee?

Johnny Jay 06:12

He is backing Israel, which I think is right. It's not lockstep with the progressives. I was telling Stevie, John, the other day, I said, I feel like Luke, "There's still some good in your dad, I can feel it."

Stevie Jay 06:34

It would be very tricky, and I know the Democrats aren't really for Joe Biden, but they're going fists clenched to vote against Trump, I guess is the plan now, but who's to say either will be there next summer? I don't know.

John Pudner 06:49

Yeah, I think the network interview with the Vice President asking why aren't you ahead by 30 points, its pretty comical for anyone who monitors, inflation, crime, any of these issues, saying you should be up 30!

Johnny Jay 07:03

It'll be interesting if they can stay with the President because he's beatable, no matter what.

Stevie Jay 07:12

If you continue on the road, we're on...God help us in 2028. I don't know what we'll be looking like by then because this is a mess across the board.

Johnny Jay 07:21

We have seen how strong the country really is, because despite some of the most inane things, we're hanging in there, but you're right, Steve, there's a point at which it just we can't hold out. We've got to be smarter.

John Pudner 07:37

We're living off some other generation's successes I'm afraid. We aren't out yet.

Stevie Jay 07:43

John Pudner, here's hoping Marquette comes here and doesn't beat me, but we know they're very, very good. How can people find you, sir?

John Pudner 07:51

The easiest is, we skipped the Republic of the website because it made it too long, but would love to have you sign up there, we'll do an event down there anytime.

Stevie Jay 08:05

Thanks, John. Appreciate it. Thanks very much.


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